Bringing the voice of your customers into your boardroom and working practices

Our Eight-Step Approach to Setting up a Voice of the Customer (VoC) Programme

Creating a VoC Programme

In last week’s blog we explored the benefits of having a Voice of the Customer (VoC) programme. One of our favourite examples of a brand listening to and acting upon customer feedback is one from online florist Bloom & Wild (B&W). 

B&W noted that Mother’s Day of their email marketing campaigns was triggering higher than usual unsubscribes. They worked to understand what was behind this and discovered that campaigns like Mother’s Day and Wedding Anniversaries can be really sensitive times for customers who have lost a mother or wife. Customers reported that receiving emails about these sensitive times were upsetting, although customers were happy to receive emails at other times of the year and yet the only way to stop receiving them was to unsubscribe. 

Having understood the problem, the B&W team set about creating a way for customers to unsubscribe from some campaigns without having to opt-out of all email marketing. The response from customers was phenomenal and beyond B&W’s expectations, they even got a mention in a parliamentary debate. It was a clear example of how listening to customer feedback has been to the benefit of both the customer and the organisation. 

This week we’re taking a look at how you go about setting one up to deliver ongoing benefits to your business.

Define VoC Objectives – What do you want your VoC programme to achieve? Common objectives include improving customer satisfaction, identifying pain points within your customer journeys, and gathering insight into product or service offerings to feed into future product development. It is essential to clearly define your objectives including which is the primary objective (if there are more than one) and you’ll need to ensure that your VoC is aligned with your overall business mission, vision and strategy.

Identify Collection Points - You’ll need to identify the potential sources of customer feedback – where you can gather customer feedback from and how you will gather that feedback.  When setting up a new VoC programme, the RBL team approach this step by mapping all of the available sources for feedback and then prioritising those sources in line with the programme’s objectives. Be aware that customers share feedback with you continuously and not just in response to the surveys you send out.

Design Collection Plan - Once you have identified where your customer feedback will come from, you’ll need to look at the tools you will use to collect that data and how often you’ll gather feedback.
Some organisations choose to use survey questionnaires, others schedule customer interviews or use feedback forms on websites so that manageable volumes of data can be collected. If you have a contact centre, you’ll find customer feedback in all your contact channels (voice recordings, chat transcriptions, emails, letters, webform submissions, social media etc) plus all the channels where you request feedback (surveys, review platforms etc). It’s clear that some of this feedback will be more structured in some sources than others, so you will need to consider how you will collate and utilise this insight.

The frequency of your feedback collection should be considered in light of what you plan to do with that feedback and the available resources to work with it. There’s no point collecting feedback weekly, if you’re not able to review or action it more frequently than every six months. In an ideal world you may want to have a continuous feedback VoC programme but it’s rarely the place to start and perhaps more realistic to work towards this.

Collect Feedback – Implement your feedback collection plan and verify that you are getting customer feedback from the sources you had identified and in sufficient volume to be meaningful. You may need to revise your feedback collection plan in light of what you find here.

Analyse Feedback - Your aim here is to identify trends and any patterns in the data to be able to determine what actions need to be taken. We recommend mapping this insight against your customer data to assess where the priorities for taking action lie.

Determine Action Plan - This is where you agree and implement your action plan. Actions may include revising products or services, improving steps within the customer journey by amending the website or improving your customer communications to make them more accessible. Your action plan will likely have a series of steps to complete within each action and associated timelines. Having an action plan will keep you focussed and on track.

Whilst many VoC programmes see this as the final step within a VoC programme, here at RBL we believe there should be a couple more, if your VoC programme is truly going to add value to your business.

Communicate Changes - An essential element of an effective VoC programme is to communicate your changes to both your customers and the wider marketplace to alert prospects who had previously considered but discounted your products and services that they are now improved.

Monitor Impact - The final stage is monitoring. Did your improvements deliver the desired impact? Does your customer feedback demonstrate that customers are responding well to the changes? Have there been any unintended consequences? 

Having a VoC programme is an effective way for an organisation to gather, analyse and utilise customer feedback to drive business growth through improved customer retention and new customer acquisition. If you’d like to find out how our friendly team can support you in creating your own VoC then please contact us


PS. You can find out more about the Thoughtful Marketing Movement at Bloom & Wild

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